Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Power of Words...

 Please join me in welcoming the very talented Andrea Downing. She’s discussing a very powerful subject.


THE POWER OF WORDS

I just returned home from two conferences, back to back, where I finally met a great many fellow authors with whom I had only previously corresponded.  In some cases, they had been nothing more than the words in an email, since looking at every author's FB page or web site proved too time consuming. Yet friendships had been made via the power of 
; unlike potential lovers, it never proved necessary to see a person's appearance in order to like them (not in the Facebook sense!) and want to continue corresponding with them.  Big, small, dark, light, no matter the size of their nose or ears, if a friendship had been made via the correspondence, it continued in person with a connection that could not be broken.  We know that words are powerful.  We know that words have swayed voters, manipulated nations and seduced the opposite sex or reduced them to tears. So why shouldn't words make good old-fashioned friendships that last?

Yet language is not an easy art to learn.  On the news tonight, there was a feature about a seven-year-old musical prodigy who rivals Mozart.  After listening to the interview I realized that we often hear of child geniuses who excel in music or paint like Da Vinci yet never do we hear—to my knowledge—of a child who writes like Shakespeare or is, at some tender age, the next Dickens, Austen or Twain.  My own daughter spat out, "Thank you Mommy and Daddy for the delicious Chinese meal" at the ripe old age of two yet never went on at five to write anything that rivaled a Bronte.  So what is it about the art of language that takes years to master?

Experience is the attribute that comes to mind.  Vocabulary is nothing more than learning the notes and their permutations but experience teaches us how to charm or how to hurt, how to dispute and argue, how to persuade or convert, how to lie, deny and invent.  Ah:  invent!  Experience goes hand in hand with IMAGINATION.

The experience of studying, learning, reading and life itself feeds our imagination so that we eventually can tell stories and write.  And whether it's an email that is telling some person whom you've never met the minutiae of your day in humorous detail, or laying out for the unknown reader the glories of an historical figure or a make-believe character, language and writing remain our main connection to each other.  Yes, even in this digital cyber age, we are still connecting via language.

While John Lennon once said, “When you're drowning you don't think, I would be incredibly pleased if someone would notice I'm drowning and come and rescue me. You just scream,”  I’d like to think that the man who wrote ‘Imagine’ and ‘Give Peace a Chance’ was highly aware of the power of words.  While his scream might be a reaction, it would be words that expressed what he felt about the possibility of drowning. Just as I felt the connection with my fellow authors whom I had never met, but it was words that finally connected us. 


Loveland

When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life...

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.

Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?

Excerpt:
He watched as she sat on a stool and pulled first one boot, then the other off and kicked them aside, then she stood and put her leg on the stool to roll down her stockings one by one.

He marveled at her wantonness, her lack of propriety. “Alex, stop,” he said, laying his hand on hers. “Stop. You know…”

But he was lost; she took his face in her hands and pulled him to her, kissing him so any resistance he had had was now shattered. His heart was beating faster at the sweetness of her mouth, the softness of her tongue, the lack of air as they sought each other. His hands moved over her feeling the outline of her body, knowing its curves, its gentleness, its yielding. “Are you sure?” he asked at last.

“I want you so much, Jesse, I want you so much, I’m not waiting three years. And if…if anything happens, so what? We’ll get married, that’ll be it.”

“Yes, but Alex, you can’t…I mean it’d be a shotgun wedding, it’s not how—”

“Shh.” She put her finger to his mouth and then turned for him to unhook her gown. He ran his hands gently down her exposed back, feeling each scar, then kissed her neck.

“You have nothing on under...”

“It’s how the gown is made. Monsieur Worth builds the undergarments into the gown.” Her voice was at barely a whisper, a tremor showing her nerves. She turned and still held the gown up to her, then, looking at Jesse, let it drop to the floor.

Andrea Downing emigrated to the UK from New York in order to do her Masters Degree.  She ended up marrying, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore and often trades the canyons of New York for the open spaces of the west—and writes incessantly.

Discover more about Andrea here:

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15 comments:

  1. Good Morning Ladies - great post and I'm positive this would be a great read! Congratulations on the release!

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    1. Thanks so much. Your WORDS give me encouragement!

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  2. Wonderful post. Of course, words are my favorite things!

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    1. Glad to hear it, Liz. Thanks for stopping by

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  3. What an excellent post. Well done. I love words. :)

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  4. Thanks Beth. I guess loving words is fairly necessary for being an author!

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  5. Hi Andi,
    Your post is excellent; you offer food for thought, beautifully expressed. I'm happy to have been one of those on-line friends who got to meet you in person at the Women Writing the West conference!

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    1. I was most certainly happy to meet you as well, Arletta. Thanks for your cmment!

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  6. The truth of your post rings clear. Calvin and I were so impressed with you, meeting you in person after you'd blogged on Vintage Vonnie. Although an aura of calm and gentleness of spirit shows in your photo. The charm of a one-on-one conversation at The Wild Rose writers' retreat endeared you to us even more.

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    1. Vonnie, that is just such a lovely thing to say, though I don't know how you gathered calm and gentleness from that photo--I think I've got on my tough western scowl! Thanks so much--you're both such darlings!

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  7. Hi Andrea,
    Great post, I enjoyed reading it. Loved your excerpt.

    Regards

    Margaret

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    1. Thanks so much, Margaret. Glad you enjoyed it! There's more where that came from...

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  8. Andi,
    Good post... Interesting about there being no child writers. Knowing the words, having experiences of love and loss and more, all of these we gather as we grow into adulthood. Another very important necessity for the writer is to know the words and how to spell them. Oh, yes, and then there are those pesky grammar rules.

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